Espreso. Global

Czech Republic President: NATO troop presence in Ukraine won't violate international rules

11 March, 2024 Monday
13:40

Czech President Petr Pavel believes NATO troop support for Ukraine within its borders won't breach international norms

He said this in an interview with Czech television, Euractiv reports.

Pavel emphasized the need for clear delineation between the deployment of combat units and potential involvement of troops in certain 'auxiliary' activities, for which NATO already has experience.

The Czech president recalled that after Russia's Crimea annexation and Donbas occupation in 2014, a NATO training mission, which at one time included more than 15 countries and consisted of about 1,000 troops, operated in Ukraine.

“From the point of view of international law and the UN Charter, there would be nothing to prevent NATO member states’ troops – as well as civilians, for example – from assisting in the work in Ukraine,” Pavel stressed.

When asked whether he would support the deployment of NATO troops to directly support Ukraine on its territory, Pavel responded that he does not dismiss discussions on this matter.

If we could agree with the allies that, for example, instead of training Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of NATO member states and transporting thousands of troops to, say, Poland or the Czech Republic, it would make much more sense to transport a few dozen instructors to Ukrainian territory and train Ukrainian soldiers there,” he said.

He also reminded that following the onset of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, the Kremlin stated that anyone providing assistance to Ukraine would be a legitimate target.

“Today, we are not only supplying Ukraine with small arms, we are supplying it with tanks, we may soon supply it with aircraft, we are supplying it with medium-range cruise missiles, and yet there has been no attack on NATO territory. Russia knows full well that this would be a violation of the law of a much greater calibre than what it is doing now,” Pavel said, adding that Russia is aware of NATO’s strength.

 

What preceded

On February 26, about 20 European leaders met in Paris to discuss the threats posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. They were addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

After the conference French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the deployment of Western ground troops to fight Russian aggression should not be ruled out in the future.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico confirmed that some NATO and EU member states are allegedly discussing the possibility of sending their troops to Ukraine after signing bilateral agreements with Kyiv.

Stoltenberg and NATO leaders clarified that no collective decision has been made to send troops to Ukraine, while Russia labeled the suggestion as a declaration of war.

On February 29,Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that Western leaders should not rule out the possibility of sending ground troops to Ukraine.

On March 4, Macron said he would not send troops to Ukraine in the near future, but opened a debate on the matter.

On March 5th, Macron urged allies not to be 'cowards' regarding Ukraine and to step up. His call was responded to by the German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that the discussion sparked by French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks on deploying Western troops in Ukraine will save Europe a lot of time in realizing the need for more action.











 
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